New York Mag: So What If Bernie Sanders Is a Millionaire?


As President Trump keeps fighting to keep his tax returns secret, several Democrats hoping to challenge him in 2020 — including Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren — have already released several years worth of tax returns. Soon, Bernie Sanders will join them.

Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, told CNN on Wednesday that they will release ten years of returns by April 15, the deadline for filing taxes. Though we don’t know the broader story they’ll tell about Sanders’s finances, one point has already drawn a lot of attention: Sanders has become a millionaire since his first presidential run in 2015. The candidate confirmed his financial status in an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday. “I wrote a best-selling book,” he said. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

Shakir told CNN that the candidate still “believes in opportunity for all, and the fact that he is somebody who has personally benefited from that opportunity is something that he feels should be a shared opportunity with everyone else. He’s made some money off a book. And I think that the opportunity that he has had is evaporating for so many others. He feels that strongly.”

Unsurprisingly, Sanders still received some flak for his millionaire status. “Bernie is lucky to live in a capitalist society,” CNN’s Erin Burnett remarkedon a Tuesday episode of her show. “It’s all very off-brand and embarrassing, but Senator Bernie Sanders is a millionaire,” announced one ThinkProgress piece. But alleging that Sanders’s wealth makes him a hypocrite relies on a misunderstanding of his political views, and at the same time, obscures the real red flag his tax-return saga raises.

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